Author's Note: Oops, Dexter's just about caught up with me. Oh, well. This is what I've got so far.


"I'll get you a more permanent home soon," Dexter assured his sister, patting her arm. "Somewhere I don't have to keep you so tied up. Until then, you should be okay like that."

"Fuck you, Dexter," she mumbled wearily.

Yes, she was secure enough for the time being. It was time to leave. He was tired and needed to be back home in time to be suitably shocked by Debra's disappearance.

He stood up. "I've got places to be, Debra. People to kill, you know?"

It was a joke. The Dark Passenger had its fill with Travis, and though dear Debra's death would have pleased it, its thirst didn't plague his thoughts. It now slept, and Dexter's energy abated with it. Debra didn't seem to like his attempt at levity.

"So, what? You're just going to leave me like this?" Despite having more than adequate warning, she looked quite worried.

"Do you want me to tuck you in?" he asked out of courtesy. He could pull back the covers, set her on the sheet, and pull the blankets up over her. He would be careful to keep her nose from being covered and would prop up her head with a stack of pillows. It would be moderately comfortable, a nice gesture on his part.

"No, I don't want you to fucking tuck me in, motherfucker," she said, too full of herself to see his show of respect. "I want you to take off this fucking tape."

"Deb…" He shook his head.

It was too dangerous. Far too dangerous. She was a trained fighter and could take him out. She wasn't an idiot, so she had to see the risk, making it probably that she was trying to set him up.

"Dexter, come on," she whined. "Everything's sore. I don't even do this kind of bondage for my boyfriends. The least you could do is tape me in a more comfortable position."

He raised an eyebrow. "So you could make a break for it while you're free? I don't think so."

"Dexter, I promise I won't," she said, pleading with her eyes.

"You promise," he repeated skeptically. He walked around the bed to appraise her from every angle. "You promise?"

Her muscles were tense. She was ready to move the second she was free. Her face was strained with, yes, pain, as she described. He also observed fear and anger. She would almost certainly lash out at the first opportunity.

"Say you want to be tied in a more comfortable position," he commanded, studying her face. "Go on, tell me."

"…I want to be tied in a more comfortable position," she said, and he could tell she lied. Too fucking angry.

"Okay," he said neutrally. "I'll get the tape. Don't you go anywhere."

"Fuck you sideways," she snapped in response.

To limit visibility of the room from the outside, he turned off the lights before stepping through the threshold. He didn't waste time and swiftly retrieved the roll of tape. Returning, he turned the lights back on again.

"There was someone else in here, cocksucker," she complained.

"What?" he asked with bemusement. He looked around, not seeing anyone.

"You don't turn the lights off when someone else is in the room," she said, very impertinent for a woman hogtied on a bed alone with a serial killer.

He looked at the switch. "Oh."

He blinked. "Sorry."

"Well? Aren't you going to let me out?" she prompted.

He sat next to her. "Unfortunately, Debra, I'm not sure I can trust you just yet," he said in his best apologetic voice. Without another word, he took a piece of tape and went to cover her mouth.

Startled, she jerked back her head. "Dexter! Wait! Dexter, I need to take a piss. Just hang on a moment. I need to take a piss."

He paused. It could be a ruse. On the other hand, Debra pissing herself would be very messy and make her smell bad. Not seeing the need to waste the tape, he smoothed it onto her mouth and nodded. "Alright."

Pulling her into his arms, he carried her into the bathroom while she protested with inarticulate groans and mumbles. He rested her stomach against the sink while he removed the tape holding her bound ankles to her likewise bound wrists.

Her body jerked as her legs fell limply down, and she exhaled a sigh of relief. Maybe it wasn't a ruse after all. Aw, well, better safe than sorry.

He hooked a finger under her waistband and tugged down her pants and undies, which fell to her ankles.

She grunted a complaint, but he ignored her. There was no way he was leaving her unsupervised. He knew how resourceful his sister could be. If she needed to piss so badly, she would do it on his terms.

He carried her over to the toilet and set her ass down on the seat. "Go ahead, Deb."

She glared at him and grunted something that was either "Dexter!" or "Fucker!" He strongly suspected the latter.

"Here," he said, turning the faucet on in the sink.

"Mmmrph!" she complained, her cheeks turning red.

"Try to relax," he told her.

She gave him an incredulous look.

"Maybe talking would help," he suggested. He reached over and peeled the tape off her mouth.

"Oh, motherfucker!" she yelped. She scrunched up her face. "Okay, now my hands."

"Not a chance," he said, sitting down on the counter. When he looked down at her, he was careful to keep his eyes focused only on her face. He felt he was polite enough for that. "I know how smart you are, Deb. You could be very… problematic with your hands free. Consider it a complement."

"Fuck you," she said. "At least turn around."

He raised an eyebrow.

"I can't piss with you staring at me like some kind of perv," she said. "Come on, I'm fucking taped up like one of Masuka's love dolls. At least give me some kind of privacy!"

After a moment's consideration, he decided to grant her request. He stood up and turned his back toward her, looking pointedly away from the mirror. It would be a good test of how willing his sister was to be a well-behaved captive.

It didn't come as much of a surprise when Debra tried to headbutt him from behind. He quickly snapped back around and knocked her against the wall. Grabbing her shoulders, he forced her ass down on the toilet seat. "Alright, now you've got exactly sixty seconds to take your piss because then I'm securing you for the night whether or not you're done, understand?"

She grimaced and closed her eyes. He felt her relax, and she then finally relieved herself.

"Thatta girl, Deb," he praised her as he might praise Harrison. "You're a champ."

It was funny how much she reminded him of taking care of Harrison. She whined and complained about the simplest of tasks, acted out when he showed her leniency, but was able to shut up and behave the moment he put down a firm hand. Maybe all humans acted the same way when circumstances forced them to be dependents of an authoritative figure. He recalled Harry disciplining Debra… especially whenever she stuck her nose into their business.

"I guess you didn't want this to happen," he commented to Harry.

"No," Harry sighed. "Though I didn't think you'd go this far, I knew that if your sister ever discovered…"

"My Dark Passenger?" he supplied.

"…That her life would never be as fulfilling as it would were she to remain in ignorance," Harry continued. "Ignorance is a precious thing, and it was my gift to her. Now, even if you do let her go, as you should…"

He snorted, tightening his grip on her.

"…Her sense of security has been violated, and that's something she may well never get back," Harry concluded.

"And who was it who forged such a fragile reality so easily violated by simple truths?" he shot back, turning to glare at his foster dad.

"What?" Debra asked, following his gaze.

"It's nothing," he said, pulling her to her feet.

Despite being rather impolite, he intended to keep her clean and so wiped down her nether regions, much to her embarrassment. Ever the neat monster, he washed his hands as he kept her carefully pinned against the sink. Debra finally seemed to have run out of insults and seemed willing to behave. Not that he trusted her in the slightest.

Pulling her into his arms, he brought her back to the bed and set her down. "Okay, Deb, thanks to that stunt, I'm going to hogtie you again, but I'll give you the choice of being left facedown or up."

She was silent for a moment as she thought. She finally snapped, "Sideways."

He chuckled. "Very well, my daringly defiant Debra."

He secured her bonds and laid her on her side. "I have to go now. I promise I'll be back as soon as I can to feed you and help you to the bathroom and such as you need it."

"Shit, Dexter, I'm not a pet hamster," she complained.

"No, you don't have a wheel," he said dryly.

She would also be significantly harder to take care of than the small rodent. He wouldn't have to worry about a hamster escaping and telling the cops about the Bay Harbor Butcher's surprising identity. Why couldn't Harry have bought a hamster instead of fathering a deathly dangerous daughter?

"Hey, Dexter? The gag isn't really important, is it? It's not like I'm going to call for help in this neighborhood all tied up, right?"

He answered by gagging her. True, her argument had some sense in it, but it would be beyond foolish to trust the kidnapping victim to be honest with her kidnapper about her assessment of her potential to escape. Possibly Deb had a plan up her sleeve. It couldn't hurt to be appropriately cautious.

He turned on the TV to create background noise to cover up any Debra sounds. "Look, they've got free cable. You can watch… um, whatever's on after Homeland."

Debra grunted a "Fuck you."

He smiled politely to counter his sister's rudeness. "Good night, sis."

Remembering not to turn off the light, he left the motel room and drove home. He needed to rest. It would be a big day tomorrow, having to investigate his sister's disappearance and appear appropriately distressed about it. Meanwhile, he needed to come up with a more permanent solution to his sister dilemma.

As he entered the apartment, he noticed an open package sitting on the counter. Presumably, Jamie brought it in. It was probably nothing, but curiosity led him to take a look inside. There was…

He reached in and pulled out the artificial hand. It was unmistakably the prosthetic of Monique Ness, the eighth victim of the Ice Truck Killer. But it had been altered. Strange patterns had been painted on, new, puzzling.

"A challenge," he murmured. "From you?"

"But of course, baby brother," Brian agreed. "It takes a lot more than exsanguination to truly rid the world of me. I gather you're up for another round?"

"I am," he said. "I really, really am."